Devotional #334, May 3, 2020

Devotional #334
May 3, 2020
“This Too Shall Pass”
 
My mother always used the saying, “this too shall pass.”  It was usually when trying to soothe a broken heart, smooth out a stressful school situation, or give encouragement during times of sickness.  And it always did pass.  All those childhood worries, skinned knees, hurt feelings, disappointments, and struggles came and went.  Now, in the midst of them, it wasn’t always easy to embrace the concept.  There were tears and slammed doors, and moments where I was convinced I knew more than she ever possibly could.  But with time and age, comes wisdom.  And as I matured, I grew to understand the wisdom of those words, and found the truth in them to be constant. 
 
I find myself speaking these four words to myself almost daily in the midst of this current crisis.  As much as I would like to think, I am that wise and mature person, I find myself stomping my foot and shedding a few tears even now.  I guess my desire for it to pass quickly is overwhelming.  There are just so many unknowns, that it is hard to find encouragement and peace.  
 
This phrase has a strange origin.  Most believe it is in the Bible.  But it is not.  There are three main theories about the beginning of this saying.  The first is a fable of an Eastern king who asked his wise men to find him a magic ring that would make him happy when he was sad, and vice versa.  They engraved a ring with the words, “this too shall pass”.  And presented it to him.  This story is found in the poetry of a 13th century Persian.  The Jewish folklore involves King Solomon asking for a similar ring.  But it was Abraham Lincoln who popularized the saying in a speech in 1859: 
 
“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all situations.  They presented him the words, “And this too, shall pass away.”  How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride-how consoling in the depth of affliction.”  Abraham Lincoln from The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, 1953
 
So, the words from an ancient fable still ring true today.  And we all can find consolation in the midst of our situations, knowing that we will soon look back on them as a distant memory.  That has proven to be the case with many hardships and trials I have faced already.  
 
“Please, dear Jesus, help me to remember the faithfulness you have shown me all the days of my life, and let me rest in the promise that you always will.”
 
Isaiah 65:24  “It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”